Todd Bradley Teaches Proper Paddle Technique – Video

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I’ve had a few breakthroughs in the past month or so by talking with a few experts on paddle technique and downwind racing tips.  One of the experts is Todd Bradley who has over 40 years of competitive paddling experience.  He’s done dozens of Molokai (32 miles) to Oahu crossings in SUP, OC-1, OC-6, paddleboard, etc and has a long history of winning and training winners like Karel Tresnak Jr.  The whole conversation started after we saw a low res video of Todd teaching the paddle stroke to Chip Bock on what looked like a sidewalk on the edge of a body of water.


(click thumbnail to launch video)

He kept referring to ‘punching’ with the top arm and during discussion with Harris Chang and Randy Lui-Kwan, we were all trying to figure out if it worked and what Todd was talking about.  I’ve been paddling with my top arm straight and pulling w/ my bottom arm and torso.  It worked good for me, or so I thought.  Anyway, I snagged Todd in Waikiki and shot this video of him explaining what he meant by ‘punching’ and the proper paddle stroke in general.  Then I had Todd video me doing the stroke so I and others can see what he’s trying to teach.  Check it out.

todd-bradley-paddle-instruction-09.jpg           C4 Waterman’s Todd Bradley sharing some paddle techniques

Todd also shared this with us:

Shots from the start of the Molokai race…good for technique study…

#1 Release with upright clean posture. No compression of the front of the board.

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#2 Swing, Twist, Load Top arm up for Punch and Drive

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Drive top arm re-coil twist, Drive off foot (See Posture of person in background, too much compression with bend and lunge)

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Snap release and repeat.

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6 Responses to “Todd Bradley Teaches Proper Paddle Technique – Video”


  1. Kona 1Kona

    Very helpful. I’ve been doing it wrong this whole time. People would pay good money for this. Thanks for posting this!!

  2. DW 2DW

    Nice job Evan. I took some crap when I reported on this technique on my blog after my visit to Oahu in Jan. I think your video may help people get it this time.

  3. Evan Leong 3evan

    Kona – I know how you feel.

    DW – It’s really hard to understand by just words or even pictures. That’s why I wanted to get it on video.

    There are a few more video parts to this. The raw video was too long so it needed to be edited and cut up. There’s also some good B-roll in the other videos of Dave Parmenter, Christian Bradley and Greg Pavao in action on a Hawaii Kai downwinder. It puts it all into perspective. Those should be live in the near future.

  4. gaiyabum 4gaiyabum

    [..YouTube..] Thanks for posting this–I need to change up my paddle technique since I do the whole straight top arm tech.

  5. strubedoo2 5strubedoo2

    [..YouTube..] Excellent tutorial. I’ve developed a bad case of tendinitis because of my completely wrong technique. This should really help. Thanks.

  6. mindofown 6mindofown

    [..YouTube..] Excellent

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